When you’rein the pit of despair

In our marriage and in all our relationships, we will face challenges.  In response, we often wring our hands in despair, get mad at God, sink into depression, lash out at people around us, get really grouchy, and on and on.  We act as if we’re surprised that we’ve encountered heartache and trials.  Well, here’s a news flash for you.  Trouble is normal and to be expected.  After all, Jesus says in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble“.  Drat.

However, God has a plan to do something wonderful in the middle of our challenges…if we decide to move out of despair and self-pity.  God wants to teach us something.  He doesn’t waste any opportunities for our personal growth!  In the middle of our suffering, God gives us the choice to either wallow in depression or contemplate what He might be trying to teach us.  Romans 5:3-5 sums this up well: “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

 The choice is yours.  You can stay mired in despair if you want to, or you can anticipate a time of great personal growth and shaping of your character.  Could God be teaching you patience, or perhaps teaching you to be courageous in confronting abuse, or maybe teaching you to help and comfort others who share a similar heartache?  Maybe the Lord simply wants to teach you to draw even closer to Him and to trust in Him completely.

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

Will you try this experiment with your husband?

I teach women about the Bible instruction for wives to display a respectful attitude toward their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), but apparently I haven’t perfected this myself!  The other day, I was in the process of texting back and forth with two different women about a need within the Squadron of Sisters wives’ ministry…when my husband came into the room and stood in front of me.  I didn’t look up right away because I just wanted to finish my text and be done with that task.  My husband turned around and left the room, obviously a bit irritated.  My thought was…”huh? What just happened?”

Later, I asked my husband why he was upset.  In a nutshell, it turns out that he felt as if he didn’t matter to me.  He felt that other things came before him.  He had wanted to talk with me about something important and I didn’t even look up when he stood in front of me.  He felt disrespected.  Oops.

I’ve been discussing this with God since that time, and I believe he’s showing me that respecting my husband means treating him with great honor.  In fact the original Greek translation of that word “respect” in Ephesians 5:33 means “to have reverence for” or “to be in awe of”.   Wow!  Those words seem applicable to how a servant would treat a king!  Hmmm.  Maybe God wants me to treat my husband as if he is as important as a king.  I’m going to try an experiment this week.  I’m going to attempt to honor my husband, and pay attention to my husband, as if he were the president or a king (without making it too goofy or weird!!).  Are you willing to try this “respect experiment” too?  I can’t wait to see how my husband will be impacted and how our marriage may be changed for the better!

Men are attracted to cheerleaders

I thought that title would get your attention!!  🙂   However, I’m not talking about guys lusting after scantily-clad Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.  Instead, I’m talking about how men are naturally drawn to women who are cheerleaders in the sense of being their supporters and encouragers.  So let me ask you this question.  Does your husband sense that you are his cheerleader?

Most men struggle with feeling inadequate.  Most men wrestle with feeling like a failure.  Many men may never put effort into being a better father, husband, employee, or disciple of Jesus because they fear failure.  In other words, they’d rather not try at all if it means they could risk the embarrassment of people noticing them failing in their endeavor.  Perhaps this is why God instructed Joshua over and over again to “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9). Joshua’s natural bent was to fear failure instead of stepping out with courage.

This is where a wife can make a huge difference!  By speaking words of encouragement and affirmation and respect, your husband may find the courage to move forward.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs us to “encourage one another and build each other up”.   By becoming your husband’s cheerleader, your man may risk failure to step out and seek to be become a stronger, and more godly, leader of your family.   Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

The verse that helps you shed insecurity

Most women are plagued by insecurity.  As a result of our insecurity, we end up putting up with rude or abusive behavior from others.  Our insecurity leads up to covet what other women have.  Our insecurity prompts us to put other people down so we look better in comparison.   When we are drowning in insecurity, we tend to expect a man to be the “answer”.  We seek and catch a husband and then expect him to make us feel better about ourselves by constantly telling us that we’re beautiful, desirable, smart, funny, intelligent, etc.   However, our husbands are imperfect themselves!  They can’t be our source of security.

I believe we would benefit by reading aloud one particular Bible verse every morning.  It is a great reminder of how God sees us.  It’s a reminder that He loves us and even delights in us!  This verse portrays the picture of a loving father tenderly cradling his daughter in his arms.  Here is the verse.  Zephaniah 3:17  “The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with His love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.”   Close your eyes and picture God smiling at you as he holds you.  Hear him whispering those words to you.  Ah. So good.  I feel so much more secure.  How about you?

How are your kisses as a wife?

My question for you today has to do with the way you kiss your husband!!  Do you kiss him in a way that makes him feel wanted and desired?  If so, you are a wise woman who is breathing life into her marriage.  On the other hand, do you kiss your husband reluctantly or in a passionless way?  If so, you could be contributing to the slow death of your marriage.

Your husband needs to feel desired by you.  He wants to be your sexual hero.  Your response to his kisses tells your man a lot.  When you press into the kiss with passion, he feels wanted and becomes a more confident man.  The bride in the Song of Songs understood this.  She made sure her groom knew how much she loved his kisses.  In Song of Songs 1:2 she says “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for your love is more delightful than wine.”

So, this week I challenge you to kiss your husband deeply, as in more than one second!!  Press into the kiss with passion.  Not only will this be a blessing to him, but I bet you will reap some benefits as well.  As he revels in your love, he will likely be more attentive toward you. 🙂   In fact, you might want to intoxicate him with your love, as the Bible mentions in Proverbs 5:18-19.  A husband who is intoxicated with his wife does not stray!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

How to fall back in love with your husband

It’s so easy for a married couple to become more like roommates than lovers!  Once the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon fade away, the everyday stresses like finances, children, housework, etc. can start to suck that warm and fuzzy feeling right out of your marriage!  Well, here are 3 things that will help to rekindle that loving feeling:

1)  Start to do the things you used to do when you were dating.  In the Bible’s book of Revelation, the church in Ephesus received this rebuke, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”   That church needed to get back to doing the things that kept them in close fellowship with Christ, and we need to do the same things in our marriage.  Did you go to the movies?  Did you go out to dinner once a week? Did you go snowboarding in the winter or hiking in the summer?  Then, carve out some time to have that kind of fun with your husband now!

2)  Kiss your husband with passion (like you used to)!  Seriously.  Give it a try and see if some sparks start to fly.

3)  List at least 7 good things about your husband.  Philippians 4:8 says “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”     So, think of as many positive things about your husband as you can.  Write them down.  Look at that list every day.  As you do so, your heart will become warmer toward him.

If you’re desperate for God’s help or guidance

Are you in the middle of a really difficult challenge in your marriage or in some area of your life?  Are you consumed with worry or outright fear about the future?  It’s at those times in our lives that we need to press into prayer in a more earnest way.  Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, we see that when God’s people were extremely troubled or worried or bewildered, they sought God with every fiber of their being by…fasting.

What is a fast?  It’s a time where you go without some types of food or all food for a specific period of time in which you seek God with your whole heart.  Sometimes, people give up something other than food, such as media.   I remember a time when I fasted from all food for 3 days as I earnestly sought God’s counsel regarding a relationship.  At the very end of that fast, God gave me a vision that made my path very clear.  Praise God!

In Ezra 8, we read that the Israelites fasted and implored God for a safe journey through enemy territory and Ezra says, “God listened to our entreaty“.  Is it time for you to enter a time of earnest prayer and fasting of some type?  Please consult your doctor if you have health issues that could be adversely affected by fasting from food, but otherwise, fasting may be just what you need for a breakthrough in prayer!